Thrillist Staff Overwhelmingly Vote In Favor of Strike Authorization

91% of the bargaining unit voted in favor of authorizing a strike following a unit-wide Day of Action held at the at the Writers Guild of America, East

New York, NY (August 13, 2018) – Members of the Thrillist Union with the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) voted today to authorize a strike after meeting at the WGAE office for a Day of Action rather than reporting to work. 91% voted in favor of the strike authorization.

The staff of Thrillist announced that they were unionizing with the WGAE in February 2017, and voted to unionize in an online election in March 2017. Thrillist has now been in negotiations for their first union contract for over a year, but Group Nine – the parent company of Thrillist – has yet to agree to a contract which includes livable salary minimums and fair annual increases. The Day of Action and strike authorization vote took place as members of the 60-person bargaining unit debated open issues, including minimum salary ranges, annual increases, and severance.

The staff’s bargaining committee announced the Day of Action this morning in a statement posted to the Thrillist Union twitter account:

Today, the members of the Thrillist Union decided to meet at the union offices instead of reporting to work. It’s time to discuss the next phase in reaching an agreement on our first contract.

Our negotiations have been ongoing for more than a year, and suffice to say, our patience in attempting to impress the importance of key issues — including livable salary minimums and fair annual increases — has dwindled. The unit will not agree to the scant, inadequate economic terms Group Nine management has put on the table.

As at any digital media shop, it is the writers, editors, producers, and creative professionals at Thrillist who are central to the success of the brand and Group Nine Media at large. We have chosen to take collective action, backed by the support of the Writers Guild of America East, to demonstrate exactly that.

Today, Thrillist Union stands together in solidarity. We call on Group Nine management to settle this contract now.

Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East, said “At its core, collective bargaining is about building power: people in a particular bargaining unit standing together, becoming part of a bigger union with more members and more resources, figuring out which issues are most important and most worth fighting for.  With today’s strike authorization vote, the WGAE-represented employees at Thrillist are exercising that power; they know that it’s worth it to fight for a contract that meets their real needs. And the whole union stands with them.

ABOUT WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA, EAST

The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing writers in motion pictures, television, news and digital media. The Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members; conducts programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers; and presents writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit wgaeast.org.

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Take Action To Support Diversity Behind The Camera

Writers Guild of America East

New York has the opportunity to make history, to take meaningful action to diversify TV storytelling.  We have all seen the studies: the industry has failed to address its own lack of diversity. There is a bill in Albany that would make a real difference by adding an incentive to hire women and people of color to write and direct television in New York.  A very similar bill passed both the Senate and the Assembly last year, only to be vetoed by the Governor.  Times have changed, the bill has been improved, and we need to get it passed before the legislative session ends in a couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, the state of New Jersey is about to finalize its own tax credit.  Unlike the existing production tax credit in New York, New Jersey’s will incentivize writing in general and diverse writing and directing in particular.  History is on our side – but only if New York moves forward on the TV diversity tax credit legislation.

Please CLICK HERE to send a message of support to the bill’s two sponsors, Assemblyman Marcos Crespo and Senator Marisol Alcantara.  They need our encouragement to get the bills – S 8032 and A 11096 – passed again so we can make history in New York.

Thank you for your support.

Fast Company Unionizes with the Writers Guild of America, East

 

Writers Guild of America East

NEW YORK, NY (June 6, 2018) – The editorial, social and photo staff at Fast Company today announced that they have unionized with the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE). An overwhelming majority of the approximately 40-member staff have signed union cards and called on management to voluntarily recognize the Guild as its collective bargaining representative.

Fast Company joins a critical mass of digital storytellers who have unionized with the Writers Guild of America, East in the last three years. The labor union represents over 1,300 creative professionals at sites including Talking Points Memo, The Dodo, Thrillist, Vox Media, Onion Inc., HuffPost, VICE, The Intercept, ThinkProgress, MTV News, Salon, Slate and Gizmodo Media Group.

Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East, said, “We welcome the editorial, social and photo staff of Fast Company to the powerful movement for collective bargaining in digital news.  We are inspired by their talent and commitment to their work – and to building a voice on the job to address workplace issues.”

The Fast Company Organizing Committee issued the following message to management:

Fast Company’s editorial, social, and photo staff has decided to unionize with the Writers Guild of America, East. Because we are committed to Fast Company’s values of supporting progressive, forward-thinking business, we want to make sure we adhere to the best practices–in terms of fair pay, benefits, and employee protections–that we extol in our editorial. Fast Company is a collaborative, innovative, and nurturing workplace that values the input of its employees, and we want to preserve those values and have a voice in how it evolves. The best way to do that is to form a union.

We love Fast Company and want to help work toward preserving its best aspects during a tumultuous time in digital media. By organizing, we want to make sure that our voices are part of the major decisions required to navigate this industry.

By creating a contract collectively, we believe we can make sure that all of Fast Company’s staff are protected and treated fairly, that Fast Company’s editorial independence is preserved, and that we fully live the business values that appear in Fast Company in our own workplace.

As a union, we hope to work together to address these issues:

Transparency and Communication:

We want to make sure that management is communicating and consulting with employees about major decisions, especially in times of crisis. We want mechanisms in place for employees to have input on major decisions, and to hold management accountable for its promises.

Equitable and Fair Compensation:

We are seeking respectable salary floors for each position, reasonable cost of living adjustments, a clear, consistent system for performance reviews and raises, a strong commitment to diversity in hiring, and the end of any gender wage gaps that may exist across positions.

Benefits and Severance:

We want to make sure our freelance colleagues are correctly classified and receiving the benefits to which they are entitled. And we are asking for clear policies on termination, and a severance package that guarantees a minimum and adjusts that amount in accordance with time served at Fast Company.

We want Fast Company to remain free of regulations and red tape, and we are dedicated to the company’s continued success and growth. We believe that a solid contract will free us to do our best work, and allow Fast Company to thrive–and to be the kind of business we believe in.

ABOUT WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA, EAST

The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing writers in motion pictures, television, news and digital media. The Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members; conducts programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers; and presents writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit wgaeast.org.

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WGAE Council Elections – Call for Nominations (Deadline May 31)

Writers Guild of America East

We are approaching the May 31st deadline for nominations for the 2018 WGAE Council Elections. Ten council seats will expire this year: 7 Freelance and 3 Staff.

You will find a nomination form and directions for the election procedure here. Any current member in good standing for one year preceding the election is qualified to run. The terms for newly elected Council members will run for two years beginning September 21, 2018.

You may return your nomination form by scanning and emailing it to dweissman@wgaeast.org OR by faxing it to 212.582.1909. It must be received no later than May 31, 2018. You must print and sign your name on the form in order for it to be valid.

Please find a list of Frequently Asked Questions at wgaeast.org/electionfaq. If you have questions about any election procedures, please call Dana Weissman at 212.767.7835.

The following current Council members’ terms do not expire this year, so they should not be nominated for Council seats:

  • Freelance: Bonnie Datt, Susan Kim, Courtney Simon, David Simon, Amy Sohn, Tracey Scott Wilson
  • Staff: Kim Kelly, Hamilton Nolan, Phil Pilato

The Annual Meeting and Council Election will be held at 5pm on Thursday, September 20, 2018. Voting online and by mail will begin at 12am on Thursday, August 23, 2018.

Talking Points Memo editorial staff has unionized with the Writers Guild of America, East

Talking Points Memo Unionizes with the Writers Guild of America, East

NEW YORK, NY (May 10, 2018)—The editorial staff of Talking Points Memo (TPM) have unionized with the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE). Management immediately recognized the Guild as the collective bargaining representative of the political news organization’s 11-member staff.

“This morning TPM editorial staffers in New York and Washington DC contacted me to let me know that they’d agreed unanimously to form a union and asked me to voluntarily recognize their decision. I replied that I was happy to do so. Our representative has already reached out to the WGA to make that agreement a reality,” said Josh Marshall, owner of Talking Points Memo, in an email to Talking Points Memo staff. “TPM is an independent, ambitious, outsider news organization. We have always strived to espouse and embody a belief in creating a society that is more equitable, just, humane and free. I believe this morning’s decision is consistent with those values and that history. I look forward to working together with the TPM Union to build on what we’ve already created together.”

The Talking Points Memo Union Organizing Committee said, “We are thrilled that management agreed so quickly to voluntarily recognize our union. Unions are becoming standard across online publications, particularly progressive ones, and it’s important to us to stand in solidarity with that movement. We’ve also seen the benefits and protections that come with unionizing, and we’re hopeful that forming a union will make TPM an even stronger digital media company. As TPM continues to grow as a publication, we want a seat at the table to help determine the company’s future, and we’re excited to work with management on the next steps in this process.”

WGAE Executive Director Lowell Peterson said, “We applaud the progressive management at Talking Points Memo for respecting the decision of the writers and editors to join with the Writers Guild of America, East and we look forward to a positive, productive experience at the bargaining table.  And we welcome these hard-working journalists to the union and to the movement.”

In addition to TPM, the WGAE represents digital-first editorial and video staffs at The Dodo, Thrillist, Vox Media, Onion Inc., HuffPost, VICE, The Intercept, ThinkProgress, MTV News, Salon, Slate and Gizmodo Media Group.

ABOUT WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA, EAST
The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing writers in motion pictures, television, cable, digital media and broadcast news. The Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members; conducts programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers; and presents writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit wgaeast.org.

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Upcoming Submission Deadline: TV Pilots Resurrected

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

DEADLINE IS MONDAY, APRIL 23

The Writers Guild of America, East’s popular TV Pilots Resurrected competition is back! This summer we will feature readings of one comedy and one drama, each a previously unproduced television pilot.

The readings will be cast, directed and performed by experienced industry professionals and a Q&A with the writer(s) will follow each reading. A reception will conclude the evening.

To enter, submit your script as a PDF or MS Word file attachment toscriptreading@wgaeast.org. Include a one-paragraph bio in the body of your email along with your name and contact information, a logline, synopsis and any comments. You must specify the genre for which your entry is intended, Comedy or Drama.

Do NOT include your name or other identifying information on the title page. This is a blind entry process. Only the title should appear on the cover page. The competition is open only to WGAE members. Only one submission per member will be accepted, and submissions from members who have won a WGAE screenplay or pilot reading competition in the past two years will not be considered.

The deadline for submissions is 12am on Monday, April 23.

The venue and date for the TV Pilots Resurrected Readings will be announced.

ABC DISCOVERS: Talent Showcase Seeking Original Scene Submissions

ABC DISCOVERS: TALENT SHOWCASE SEEKING ORIGINAL SCENE SUBMISSIONS

DEADLINE: May 18, 2018 at 11:59 pm EST

ABC Casting is seeking original scene submissions for our upcoming Talent Showcase This is a one-night event produced by the ABC Casting Department to showcase new talent to an invited industry audience.

ABC has a long-standing commitment to promoting diversity in the entertainment industry through a variety of projects administered by the ABC Casting Department. The Talent Showcase offers an excellent opportunity for talent that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Since 2012, 60 new writers and 57 original scenes have been selected including 2011 NY Showcase Alum Jermaine Fowler who wrote and performed his original scene, Black Genie.Jermaine currently stars in the series Superior Donuts. In 2012, NY Showcase participant Andrew Law wrote and performed his original scene, Once We Go Black, went on to join Late Night with Seth Meyers as a staff writerand currently writes on the series The Good Place.Selected writers will have an opportunity to meet with the Disney ABC Creative Talent Development department.

Experience in writing for television, film, or theater is strongly recommended, but not required. Those submitting must provide a completed application package adhering to the guidelines listed below. Submissions that fail to include all requested elements and follow the provided guidelines will result in disqualification.

1. SCENES

  • Must be submitted along with a completed application and release form in a PDF file.
  • Scene should be sent as a separate PDF file.
  • Submissions are limited to three (3) scenes per applicant.
  • Each scene should include a cover page with the following information: title, name, contact information, date of submission, and WGA registration number if applicable.
  • Scenes must tell a linear story comprised of a clear beginning, middle and end.
  • Scenes must be limited to two (2) characters, with equal dialogue both characters.
  • Page count for each scene is not to exceed six (6) pages. Submissions exceeding the specified page count will be disqualified

Helpful Tips: Scenes should tonally reflect the type of program broadcast on ABC; simple settings are recommended; avoid incorporating special effects; small, basic props are recommended; avoid using excerpts from larger bodies of work (e.g. plays, scripts, books, etc…); prior to submitting your scene(s) it is recommended, but not required that you register work with WGAE Script Registration.

2. RESUME – outlining chronological employment (may include both entertainment and non-entertainment positions). Also include a list of credited written work (e.g. original pilots, stage productions, feature films, short films, etc…)

3. APPLICATION – with all areas completed. Please type or print legibly.

4. RELEASE FORM – with all areas completed and the requested signature.

Application & Release Form can be downloaded at:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1HKIgjXz7iSPThlZ7kI7aAgoua1fgsSDa

Completed submissions should be emailed to: ABC.Casting@abc.com

Please include your full name and “2018 Talent Showcase” in the subject line.

Prior to submitting your scene, it is recommended that you protect your work by registering it with WGAE Script Registration

**THIS IS FOR ORIGINAL SCENE SUBMISSIONS ONLY. DO NOT SUBMIT HEADSHOTS/RESUMES**

WGA East to Livestream from Vox Media’s First Union Bargaining Session

Writers Guild of America East
WGA East to Livestream from Vox Media’s First Union Bargaining Session

NEW YORK, NY (APRIL 10, 2018) – In an act of transparency, the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) will livestream the Vox Media Bargaining Committee’s caucus meeting prior to its very first collective bargaining session with management on Wednesday, April 11th at 1:30pm EST.

The livestream will be broadcast on the Vox Media Bargaining Committee’s twitter account at @Vox_Union. In addition, Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East, will be tweeting insights on collective bargaining during the livestream on the Guild’s account at @WGAEast.

The livestream will provide unprecedented access into the collective bargaining process and showcase what gains could be achieved through joining a union. At the caucus meeting, Guild staff and members of the Vox Media Bargaining Committee located in New York and Washington, D.C. will review important issues that will be discussed at the bargaining table, including editorial independence, company transparency, job protection and inclusion and equity.

In January, Vox Media agreed to recognize the WGAE as the collective bargaining representative of approximately 400 creative professionals employed at its eight verticals – Curbed, Eater, Polygon, Racked, Recode, SBNation, The Verge and Vox.com – and Video Services.

Executive Director Peterson said, “Collective bargaining is about building power in the workplace and engaging people in the decisions that affect their work lives and careers. By live streaming its initial caucus the Vox Media Bargaining Committee demonstrates the importance of engagement and transparency. This is a great way to get negotiations off to a powerful start.”

The Vox Media Bargaining Committee said, “Livestreaming our Vox Media Union caucus on the first day of collective bargaining is a way to ensure our union remains transparent. We’ve worked hard to build strength and unity across Vox Media’s eight verticals and video services to guarantee a seat at the negotiating table. Our union gives us the opportunity to look out for each other, and we want to our coworkers and the broader community to see what we’re accomplishing.”

The WGAE has organized over 1,000 content creators in the digital news industry since 2015. In addition to Vox Media, the WGAE represents digital news staffs at Onion Inc. (The Onion, A/V Club, ClickHole), HuffPost, VICE, The Intercept, Gizmodo Media Group (Splinter, Gizmodo, Jezebel, Deadspin, The Root, Lifehacker, Kotaku, io9, Jalopnik, Earther), ThinkProgress, MTV News, Thrillist and Slate.

ABOUT WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA, EAST

The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing writers in motion pictures, television, cable, digital media and broadcast news. The Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members; conducts programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers; and presents writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit wgaeast.org.
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Call For Submissions: TV Pilots Resurrected

*CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS*

The Writers Guild of America, East’s popular TV Pilots Resurrected competition is back! This summer we will feature readings of one comedy and one drama, each a previously unproduced television pilot.

The readings will be cast, directed and performed by experienced industry professionals and a Q&A with the writer(s) will follow each reading. A reception will conclude the evening.

To enter, submit your script as a PDF or MS Word file attachment to scriptreading@wgaeast.org. Include a one-paragraph bio in the body of your email along with your name and contact information, a logline, synopsis and any comments. You must specify the genre for which your entry is intended, Comedy or Drama.

Do NOT include your name or other identifying information on the title page. This is a blind entry process. Only the title should appear on the cover page. The competition is open only to WGAE members. Only one submission per member will be accepted, and submissions from members who have won a WGAE screenplay or pilot reading competition in the past two years will not be considered.

The deadline for submissions is 12am on Monday, April 23.

The venue and date for the TV Pilots Resurrected Readings will be announced.

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellows program

Apply to
DGF Fellows!

The Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellows program will begin accepting applications for the 2018-2019 Fellows class on Monday, March 12. DGF Fellows is a year-long development intensive led by esteemed writers Diana Son (Stop Kiss), Michael Korie (Grey Gardens), and Laurence O’Keefe (Legally Blonde). Participants spend a year honing their craft while developing full-length pieces, culminating in an industry presentation at an Off-Broadway theater. The program is highly sought after for its successful format of bringing playwrights and musical theater writers together in the learning process.

Participants receive feedback from guest artists such as Michael Grief, Kirsten Childs, Sarah Ruhl, and others, as well as partnership opportunities with organizations like SPACE on Ryder Farm and New York Stage and Film. Fellows alumni include Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen), Rajiv Joseph (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo), Kristen Anderson-Lopez (Frozen), Lauren Yee (The Great Leap), Chisa Hutchinson (She Like Girls), and many more.

The 2018-2019 Fellows class will begin meetings in fall 2018 and continue through spring 2019. Fellows-exclusive partnerships will take place in summer 2019 and the program will culminate in a final presentation in fall 2019.

The Details:

DGF Fellows is open to playwrights and musical theater writers who have participated in an organized theatrical workshop within the last ten years, have participated in a graduate program in theatrical writing within the last five years, or have comparable experience, such as one or more professional productions. Musical theater writers may apply as individuals or in teams of up to three collaborators. Playwrights may only apply as individuals.

Admitted playwrights and musical theater writers meet twice a month to share progress on their pieces and receive feedback from Program Chairs, guest artists, and the Fellows class.

Application materials can only be submitted online; the full application will consist of:

  • Excerpts from a play or musical in development.
    Please note that you must apply with excerpts from the show you would like to develop in the program.
  • A cover letter responding to the following prompt:
    “Describe a time when you felt part of a community.”
  • A letter of recommendation from a theater educator, mentor, collaborator or colleague.
    This is optional, however DGF will require this of some applicants based on experience.

Fellows will receive a stipend.

All Fellows meetings and events take place in NYC. Applicants must be physically present for meetings; remote participation in the program is not accepted. DGF encourages writers of all backgrounds to apply.

For questions, please email applications@dgf.org or call 212-391-8384. You can also Tweet your questions to @dgfound. Also, be sure to tune in to our Facebook on March 15 for a live Q&A.

Application Page:
dgf.org/programs


Twitter and Instagram:
@dgfound

dgf.org
facebook.com/dramatistsguildfdn